David Myatt

David Myatt

Given his weird Faustian peregrinations, much has been written (mostly negatively, and both past and present) about David Myatt, although there is no denying that he was, and is, “a British iconoclast who has lived a somewhat itinerant life”, {1} and that he is “one of the more interesting figures on the British neo-Nazi scene since the 1970s” {2}.

That Myatt’s post-2011 philosophy of pathei-mathos is firmly rooted in both European paganism and Greco-Roman culture {3} is further evidence that his roots – despite his experiential forays into Islam (both Sunni and Shia) and despite his post-2011 denunciations of ‘extremism’ – still are in Western culture. As is so evidenced in Myatt’s translations of and commentaries on the classic Western text titled Corpus Hermeticism. A text important to and part of, the European Renaissance and which texts vivified scholars such as Marsilio Ficino, Renaissance potentates such as Cosimo di Giovanni de Medici, and scientists such as Isaac Newton.

Indeed, Myatt in his Preface to his forthcoming translation of tractate XI of the Corpus Hermeticism, writes that:

“The intention of these translations of mine of various tractates of the Corpus Hermeticum is provide an alternative, and esoteric and essentially pagan Greco-Roman, approach to such ancient texts and hopefully renew interest in them beyond conventional and past interpretations which – based on using terms such as God, Mind, and Soul – makes them appear to be either proto-Christian or imbued with an early Christian weltanschauung.” {4}

In addition, his much-neglected poetry {5} stands as a paeon to both the European land of England and to the life of a Western mystic.

That Myatt’s poetry, his translations of Greek classics {6}, and his pagan philosophy of pathei-mathos, are neglected is perhaps tribute indeed to how so many Western peoples are now, and have been for decades, in thrall to the ethos and propaganda of the anti-Western Magian and their savants.

So, is David Myatt an intellectual, Faustian, and mystic, icon of the pagan soul of the West?

RS
2017

{1} Jon B. Perdue: The War of All the People: The Nexus of Latin American Radicalism and Middle Eastern Terrorism. Potomac Books, 2012. p.70-71.

{2} The Observer, February 9, 2003.

{3} The Mystic Philosophy Of David Myatt. ISBN 978-1523930135. Also available at: https://regardingdavidmyatt.files.wordpress.com/2016/10/mystic-philosophy-myatt-v1a.pdf

{4} https://davidmyatt.wordpress.com/2017/02/20/tractate-xi-extract/

{5} qv. https://davidmyatt.wordpress.com/2011/09/21/relict-a-selection-of-poems/

{6} https://davidmyatt.wordpress.com/about/greek-translations/


David Myatt 1998

David Myatt

Perhaps Words Are The Problem

Of the many metaphysical things I have pondered upon in the last five or so years, one is the enigma of words. More specifically, of how nomen – a name, a term, a designation – can not only apparently bring-into-being abstractions (and their categories) but also prescribe both our thinking and our actions, with such abstractions and such prescription so often being used by us, we mortals, to persuade, to entreat, to manipulate, to control, not only ourselves but through us others of our human kind. Whence how denotatum can and so often does distance, distract, us from the essence – the physis – that empathy and its wordless (acausal) knowing can reveal and has for a certain mortals so often in past millennia revealed.

For we seem somehow addicted to talk, to chatter – spoken and written – just as we assume, we believe, so often on the basis of nomina that we expand our pretension of knowing beyond the local horizon of a very personal wordless empathy breeding thus, encouraging thus, such hubris as has so marked our species for perhaps five thousand years. With such hubris – such certitude of knowing – being the genesis of such suffering as we have so often inflicted on others and, sometimes, even upon ourselves.

Would that we could, as a sentient species, dispense with nomen, nomina, and thus communicate with others – and with ourselves – empathically and thus acquire the habit of acausal wordless knowing. There would then be no need for the politics of propaganda and the rhetoric of persuasion; no need – no ability – to lie or pretend to others. For we would be known – wordlessly revealed – for who and what we really are. And what a different world that would be where no lie, no deception, would work and where guilt could never be concealed.

For some, a few mortals, such a wordless knowing is already, and has been for centuries, the numinous reality, born as such a personal reality is either via their pathei-mathos or via their innate physis. Which is perhaps why such others often secrete, or desire to secrete, themselves away: an isolated or secluded family – rural, or island – living, perhaps, and perhaps why Cistercians, some mystics, some artists, and others of a similar numinous kind, have saught to dwell, to live, in reclusive or communal silence.

There is – or so there seems to me to be according to my admittedly, fallible, uncertitude of knowing – a presencing of the essence of almost all religions here in such a knowing of the value, the mysterium, of silence. Of that which we so often in our hubris forget, have forgotten, or never known: that wordless, that empathic, that so very personal acausal knowing, that personal grief and personal suffering – that the personal awareness of the numinous – so often engenders, so often breeds, as has been so recounted for millennia in our human culture of pathei-mathos.

Given this culture – so accessible now through institutions of learning, through printed books, through art, memoirs, and music, and via this medium of this our digital age – shall we, can we, learn and apply the learning of that culture to significantly change our lives, thus somehow avoiding that periodicity of suffering which for millennia our hubris, our certainty of knowing born of nomen and nomina and the resultant abstractions, has inflicted and continues to inflict upon us?

I do so wish I had an answer. But for now, all I can do is dwell in hope of us en masse so evolving that such empathy, such wordless knowing, has become the norm.

David Myatt
2016

Extract From A Letter To A Friend


Source: https://davidmyatt.wordpress.com/perhaps-words-are-the-problem/


David Myatt

David Myatt

David Myatt: Relict

How, will, should, David Myatt be remembered? Premature and recent rumors of his death struck a chord with some of us who – whatever our age, whatever our place of dwelling, and whatever our political inclinations – have somehow in some manner (positive or negative) been affected by his life and by his writings.

But someday, and perhaps soon – give or take a few months, a few years, or perhaps a decade or more – he, now a reclusive uncommunicative mystic, will most assuredly be gone from this our mortal realm. So how should, will, Myatt best be remembered?

For myself I choose his poetry. Or rather that compilation of his poems – titled Relict – which he himself compiled. For there is humanism, a numinosity, the ethos of our Western civilization, presenced in such semi-autobiographical poems as are collected there. As well as the quintessence of what, post-2012, became his mystical, his very personal, his decidedly Western, ‘philosophy of pathei-mathos’.

Thus if he is to be remembered it should, perhaps, be for such so very human, so very civilized, poems. For such poems are such an eloquent rebuke to those who have attempted – or who for private or for political reasons may well continue to attempt – to besmirch him.

Relict
(pdf)

RS
2016


Related:

° Four Forgotten Poems


David Myatt

David Myatt

The Mystic Philosophy of David Myatt
(pdf)

Contents:

I. A Modern Mystic: David Myatt And The Way of Pathei-Mathos
II. A Modern Pagan Philosophy
III. Honour In The Philosophy Of Pathei-Mathos
IV. An Overview of The Philosophy of Pathei-Mathos
Appendix. A Note On Greek Terms In The Philosophy Of Pathei-Mathos


David Myatt

David Myatt

The pdf file below contains Myatt’s fourteen page essay Exegesis and Translation, first published in 2013. In the essay Myatt asks pertinent questions about revealed religions and the reliance the majority of believers of such revelations have on translations of their ‘sacred texts’ and the exegesis of others, writing in one memorable passage how

“there seems to be, in revealed religions and most conventional spiritual ways, a rejection of pathei-mathos in favour of the wisdom said to be contained in the texts and thus in the teachings of the founder(s) of the religion/spiritual way, and – in the case of revealed religions – in the writings/edicts of those who have been vested with or who have acquired a certain religious authority, and – also in the case of revealed religions – how such pathei-mathos, to be accepted at all, has to be judged by criteria developed from such texts and/or developed from interpretations of such texts.”

This essay therefore has relevance to Myatt’s philosophy of pathei mathos. It reveals also Myatt’s erudition, with quotations in their original language from the New Testament, the Koran, and Boethius – together with Myatt’s translations – as well as quotations from Beowulf, John Gower, and Morte Arthure.

While Myatt incorporated parts of the essay into some of his book-length works – for instance part of the Translation and Al-Quran section of the essay was added to the appendix of his Poemandres translation {1} – it is informative to read the complete essay, with his comments under the Ontology, Exegesis, and Pathei-Mathos heading in Part One of particular interest.

Exegesis And Translation
(pdf)

 

°°°

{1} David Myatt. Poemandres, A Translation and Commentary. Third Edition, 2014. ISBN 978-1495470684.


 

numinous-religion

Perhaps I remain, partially at least, a Catholic in spirit – in my heart – though not, most of the time, in words and deeds. For while I intellectually and empathically disagree with the teachings of the Catholic Church on many matters – such as homosexuality, contraception, and on divorcées who have remarried being excluded from Holy Communion (unless they have resorted to a Papal Annulment) –  I still find myself in my inner weakness not only sometimes frequenting the Lady Chapel of my nearest RC Church – lighting a candle, kneeling, and in reverent silent contemplative prayer remembering, in the felt presence of The Blessed Virgin Mary, those now dead loved ones such as my mother and father and Sue and Francis, and those other women hurt by my selfishness – but also traveling several times a year to where Gregorian chant is sung and where the Tridentine Mass is celebrated, bringing as such Latin chant and such a Latin Mass still do, in me, a renewed awareness of the numinous and a renewal of such humility as I strive – and sometimes still so often fail – to remember and feel.

There seems to me no intricate and difficult interior problem here derived from my somewhat paganus way of pathei-mathos, for that way is essentially – for me, even born as it is from my own pathei-mathos – rather intellectual, a perceiveration, lacking as it does something outward, practical, supra-personal, and communal, to presence the numinous and thus affect one’s very being in a spiritual way. So I seem to now exist – and have for several years existed – between two worlds: apparently emotionally needing something practical, living, and spiritual beyond myself and my intellectualism, and yet knowing in a rather unemotional manner that it is the way of pathei-mathos, and not Catholicism, which is my weltanschauung.

No intricate and difficult interior problem, no inner dichotomy, because I know the many flaws in my weltanschauung and in myself; and one cannot intellectually create some-thing – manufacture some-thing devoid of ψυχή – to presence the numinous. For it seems to me that such a presencing has to evolve, organically, over causal time, because it has been wordlessly presenced in other mortals and then kept alive because also felt by some of a newer generation. Will – can – such a presencing of the numinous arise from that way of pathei-mathos? Most probably not, intellectual and so very personal as it is.

So the need for some inner, numinous, sustenance remains; for fulfilling as a lot of classical music (such as the Cantatas of JS Bach) is, and fulfilling as walks alone in wild and rural Nature are, I sense a yearning in me for something more: some wordless intimation of the Divine which betakes me so far away from my still egoistic self that I am both awed and humbled again, as I often was in Winter wandering a darkened cloister as a monk in that quiet contemplative time between Matins and Lauds.


David Myatt
2015

Extract From A Letter To A Friend

Source: https://davidmyatt.wordpress.com/about/a-path-to-humility/a-catholic-still-in-spirit/


David Myatt

David Myatt

 

It is interesting and perhaps instructive to compare the stories of Joe Pierce, a former member of the National Front (NF), and David Myatt, founder of the 1970s NDFM (National Democratic Freedom Movement) and the 1990s National-Socialist Movement (NSM), convert to Islam, and public supporter of terrorism.

In summary, Pierce gained a certain notoriety in the late 1970s as editor of the NF zine Bulldog; was twice sent to prison for short periods for inciting racial hatred, became a friend of Nick Griffin, moved to Northern Ireland for a while to support Protestant groups against the IRA, then later on (as so many reprobates seem to do) found God, became a practising Catholic, was fêted by the Catholic Church, by the media, and by Establishment figures, gave public lectures, wrote about his experience, and was given a sinecure in academia. His life story is told in Race with the Devil: My Journey from Racial Hatred to Rational Love published by St. Benedict’s Press, and he is written about in glowing terms by journalists and academics alike.

In summary, Myatt was active in neo-nazi politics for some thirty years, was sent to prison twice for violence, organized and led a gang of criminals, founded the short-lived but violent NDFM, became for around two years a Catholic monk before returning to neo-nazi politics; was a member of Combat 18, founded and led the NSM; is notorious for writing the terrorist manual that inspired the London nail-bomber David Copeland; became “England’s principal proponent of contemporary neo-Nazi ideology and theoretician of revolution” {1}; has been accused of being the founder of the Occult group the Order of Nine Angles (O9A); converted to Islam and publicly supported al-Qaida and the Taliban, wrote one the most detailed defences, in English, of suicide attacks (an article used by the terrorist group Hamas), translated Ancient Greek literature, became an apostate from Islam, developed his own mystical philosophy centred about empathy and compassion. He wrote about his life in his autobiography Myngath, published in 2013 {2} and has written extensively about why he rejected extremism in books such as Understanding and Rejecting Extremism: A Very Strange Peregrination, published in 2013.

Unlike Pierce, Myatt – despite his more interesting and more violent past, his more diverse experiences over some forty years, his greater notoriety, his extensive writings as a neo-nazi ideologue, his far greater involvement with terrorism – was and is shunned by Establishment figures, is ignored by academics, and when mentioned by journalists or in mainstream books it is often in a derogatory and/or prejudiced manner and often accompanied by the unproven allegation of him being involved with the O9A.

Why the disparity, given that both by their own admission are reformed racists who regret their extremist pasts? Why the disparity in their treatment by the Establishment especially as Myatt is considered as having been “one of the more interesting figures on the British neo-Nazi scene since the 1970s” {3}{4}{5} whose active involvement with extremism lasted for some forty years while Pierce was a minor figure on the far-right whose involvement with extremism lasted for a far shorter period of time.

My surmise is that the disparity is due to the fact that Pierce is now part of the Establishment – a publicly repentant sinner who has accepted the Christian God and who continues to write, and continues to publicly speak about, what the Establishment approves of – while Myatt is a recluse whose mystical philosophy (the way of pathei-mathos) is essentially pagan. In addition, there is (i) the fact that Myatt has made – both as a neo-nazi and as a radical Muslim – powerful and influential enemies whose mottos are “Never again” and “Never forget, never forgive”, and (ii) that Myatt’s neo-nazi writings (despite his disavowal of them) still resonant with some people within the neo-nazi community, and (iii) that so many people within the modern Satanist and Occult movements continue to believe (without any evidence) that Myatt is Anton Long and the founder of and the driving force behind the subversive, anti-Establishment, Order of Nine Angles.

Myatt thus seems to have become, by some individuals involved with some sub-cultures (occult and otherwise) not only some sort of iconoclastic anti-Establishment figure but also disliked and reviled by many more individuals around the world who have apparently developed a prejudice against him. Thus Pierce is given the benefit of the doubt, and believed, while Myatt is not.

Unless and until there is a critical, scholarly, biography (or two) of Myatt then this prejudiced view of Myatt by so many people is unlikely to change in any significant way. But what is certain is that his many detractors do aid the growth of the now well-established ‘Myatt mythos’.

RS
July 2016

{1} Michael, George. The New Media and the Rise of Exhortatory Terrorism. Strategic Studies Quarterly (USAF), Volume 7 Issue 1, Spring 2013.
{2} Myngath: Some Recollections of a Wyrdful and Extremist Life. ISBN 978-1484110744. A review of Myngath is here: https://regardingdavidmyatt.wordpress.com/a-review-of-myngath/
{3} The Observer, February 9, 2003.
{4} Arkadiusz Sołtysiak. Neopogaństwo i neonazizm: Kilka słów o ideologiach Davida Myatta i Varga Vikernesa. Antropologia Religii. Wybór esejów. Tom IV, (2010), s. 173-182
{5} Jeffrey Kaplan (ed.). David Wulstan Myatt, in Encyclopedia of White Power. A Sourcebook on the Radical Racist Right. AltaMira Press, Walnut Creek, CA 2000, p. 216ff; p.514f


David Myatt

 

For well over two decades many individuals and some academics have assumed that ‘Anton Long’ is a pseudonym of David Myatt and that Myatt was the founder of, and may still be involved with, the Order of Nine Angles (ONA, O9A).

In addition, a few fanatical and/or obsessed and/or maladjusted individuals, have – and (such is their physis) always anonymously and always via the medium of the internet and for well over a decade – set up “anti-Myatt” internet blogs, websites, and posted interminable and voluminous messages on forums and in the comments sections of other internet blogs, about Myatt; always making derogatory remarks about him and the O9A, often (and laughably) accusing him of various crimes and activities, and sometimes even posting (mostly bad) photo-shopped images of him in various situations.

In some ways, this attention and focus on Myatt is a testament to his iconoclasm {1}, to what an academic {2} described as his complex character, to what another academic termed his “global odyssey which took him on extended stays in the Middle East and East Asia, accompanied by studies of religions ranging from Christianity to Islam in the Western tradition and Taoism and Buddhism in the Eastern path,” {3}, to how he allegedly “managed to enter the scene of grand politics and the global ‘War On Terror’, because of several foiled terror plots in Europe that can be linked to [his] writings,” {4} to why he is considered “England’s principal proponent of contemporary neo-Nazi ideology and theoretician of revolution,” {5} and why he is regarded as “a dangerous man” {6}.

However, what is astonishing is that no one – academic or otherwise – has so far bothered to study, and to rationally, in a scholarly manner, comment on his post-2012 ‘philosophy of pathei-mathos’, on his post-2009 letters, on his voluminous post-2009 personal writings, and on his poetry, despite all of these being freely available on his personal weblog {7}.

For if these items are studied then not only does a new, consistent, picture of Myatt emerge but they also call into question the decades-long assumptions of him being Anton Long and of still being involved with the O9A.

The picture that emerges of David Myatt is of a reclusive mystic, of someone whose philosophy of pathei-mathos is expiative, and who now devotes himself to abstruse, metaphysical, matters, to translating ancient Greek literature, and to, as a poet, pondering the meaning of our existence.

That said, it’s now back to my Quinta Vintage Port…

RS
2016

{1} Jon B. Perdue, The War of All the People: The Nexus of Latin American Radicalism and Middle Eastern Terrorism. Potomac Books, 2012. p.70-71.

{2} Susan Raine. The Devil’s Party (Book review). Religion, Volume 44, Issue 3, July 2014, pp. 529-533.

{3} Jeffrey Kaplan. Encyclopedia of White Power: A Sourcebook on the Radical Racist Right. Rowman & Littlefield, 2000. p. 216ff; p.512f.

{4} Jacob Senholt. Secret Identities in The Sinister Tradition, in Per Faxneld and Jesper Petersen (eds), The Devil’s Party: Satanism in Modernity. Oxford University Press, 2012

{5} George Michael. The New Media and the Rise of Exhortatory Terrorism. Strategic Studies Quarterly (USAF), Volume 7 Issue 1, Spring 2013.

{6} Simon Wiesenthal Center: Response, Summer 2003, Vol 24, #2.

{7} https://davidmyatt.wordpress.com/


Botticelli-Madonna-del-Magnificat-3

Editorial Note: The following extract is from Myatt’s 2012 essay Fifty Years Of Diverse Peregrinations and which essay he included in his 2013 book Religion, Empathy, and Pathei-Mathos: Essays and Letters Regarding Spirituality, Humility, and A Learning From Grief available as that book is both as a free e-text (myatt-religion-and-pathei-mathos.pdf ) and as a printed book, ISBN 9781484097984.

°°°

In fifty years of diverse peregrinations – which included forty years of practical involvement with various religions and spiritual ways, practical involvement with extremisms both political and religious, and some seven years of intense interior reflexion occasioned by a personal tragedy – I have come to appreciate and to admire what the various religions and the diverse spiritual ways have given to us over some three thousand years.

Thus have I sensed that our world is, and has been, a better place because of them and that we, as a sentient species, are en masse better because of them. Thus it is that I personally – even though I have developed my own non-religious weltanschauung – have a great respect for religions such as Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Sikhism; for spiritual ways such as Buddhism, Taoism; for older paganisms such as (i) θεοί and Μοῖραι τρίμορφοι μνήμονές τ᾽ Ἐρινύες, and (ii) άγνωστος θεός, and for the slowly evolving more recent paganisms evident for instance in a spiritual concern for the welfare of our planet and for the suffering we have for so long inflicted on other humans and on the other life with which we share this planet.

Unsurprisingly, therefore, I disagree with those who, often intemperate in words or deeds – or both – disrespectfully fail to appreciate such religions and spiritual ways and the treasure, the culture, the pathei-mathos, that they offer, concentrating as such intemperate people so often do on what they perceive to be or feel to be are the flaws, the mistakes, of such religions and such spiritual ways while so often ignoring (as such people tend to do) their own personal flaws, their own mistakes, as well as the reality that it is we humans beings – with our ὕβρις, with our lack of humility, our lack of appreciation for the numinous, and with our intolerance and our often arrogant and harsh interpretations of such religions – who have been the cause and who continue to be the cause of such suffering as has blighted and as still blights this world.

As Heraclitus mentioned over two thousand years ago:

ὕβριν χρὴ σβεννύναι μᾶλλον ἢ πυρκαϊὴν 

Better to deal with your hubris before you confront that fire

David Myatt
2012


David Myatt 

The Life Of David Myatt

The poetry of David Myatt is the creative work of a person with an interesting and controversial history. His life, according to one source, is akin to a modern  spiritual “odyssey”, a Siddhartha-like search for truth [1]. According to another source, Myatt is “a British iconoclast who has lived a somewhat itinerant life and has undertaken an equally desultory intellectual quest” [2]; while yet other sources described him as an “extremely violent, intelligent, dark, and complex individual,” [3] and as “arguably England’s principal […] theoretician of revolution.” [4]

My personal view – perhaps a somewhat unpopular one these days – is that one of the aims of Art is to elevate us and raise us up and away from the mundane world, and that all artistic creations should be judged on their merits, so that while the life and former beliefs, political or otherwise, of the artist may be of interest, they should not cloud one’s artistic judgment. In the majority of instances, while the artistic creations are remembered after the death of the artist, their personal beliefs and political opinions are long forgotten.

Outwardly, Myatt’s quest is now reasonably well known [5] – involving as it did, among other things, a study, in the Far East, of Martial Arts; the violence of ultra-nationalist politics; periods as a vagabond; two terms of imprisonment for violence; personal involvement with Islam, Buddhism, Taoism, Hinduism, Christianity, Paganism, the Occult; and membership of a once secret military organization, set up by British government during the Cold War, to conduct sabotage and assassinations. In complete contrast, his interior personal life is much less well-known.

It may have been that his first period as a vagabond, in the 1970’s, was prompted, in part, by a series of ultimately unhappy romantic liaisons, one of which led to the young women in question moving abroad where she gave birth to Myatt’s daughter. This series of events does seem to have inspired some of his early poetry, as did his first marriage, which failed when his wife ran off with a younger woman (who, incidentally, was the dedicatee of Myatt’s translation of Sappho’s poetry). His second marriage ended with the death, at the age of 39, of his wife from cancer. The failure of his third marriage led him to spend another period as a homeless vagabond, in the hills and Fells of Cumbria, a period which inspired him to produce more poetry before he returned to writing about that second love of his life, women. For if there are two themes which consistently run through his poetry, they are Nature, and women. Indeed, he once remarked that “I often feel that some women embody the beauty, the numinosity, the joy, the sensuality, of Nature.” [6]

Despite his forays into extremists politics (1968-1998) Myatt’s poetry is decidedly non-political. Similarly, despite his upbringing as a Catholic, his time as a Catholic monk in the 1970’s and his years as a professed Muslim (1998-2009), his poetry is not conventionally religious. If his poetry can be categorized, it is ‘pagan’, Nature-loving, rather mystical, and autobiographical, and seems to me to express “the real Myatt” behind the façade of his various political, religious and other peregrinations over the past four decades.

Hence in order to understand Myatt himself, we might look beyond the many clichés – journalistic and otherwise – that have written about him and turn instead to his poetry. Or rather to the poetry in his published slim collection – taken from the title of the first poem – One Exquisite Silence [7], the poetry he included in his autobiography Myngath, and a few of the poems he himself has rejected [8], writing as he did at the beginning of that One Exquisite Silence collection that

“my poetry was composed between the years 1971-2012, and is of varying quality. Having undertaken the onerous task of re-reading those poems that I still have copies of, there are in my fallible view only around a dozen that I consider may possibly be good enough to be read by others.”


Myatt’s Poetry

What we find expressed in much of this poetry is an introspective yearning for a more natural and a more human way of life; a love of Nature; at times a certain melancholy, and someone who seems to enjoy the company of women far more than the company of men.

For example, regarding women, his poem One Exquisite Silence – written in 2003 – begins:

These are the moments of an exquisite silence
As we lie together on your sofa, holding, pressing
Our bodies together
As I, gently, stroke your face and hair
And you kiss each finger of my hand.
There is a fire of logs to warm us,
As night descends:
There are no words to confuse,
No time, as we flow, together,
As clouds on a warm Summer’s day
Beneath a dome of blue.

While in his Only Time Has Stopped (c.1978) he writes:

Here I have stopped
Because only Time goes on within my dream:
Yesterday I was awoken, again,
And she held me down
With her body warmth
Until, satisfied, I went alone
Walking
And trying to remember:
A sun in a white clouded sky
Morning dawn yellow
Sways the breath that, hot, I exhale tasting of her lips.
The water has cut, deep, into
The estuary bank
And the mallard swims against the flow –
No movement, only effort.

Regarding a certain melancholy, in his 1975 poem Travelling – presumably written during his time as an itinerant – he writes:

Even my water is warm
And suspicious faces watch me
As their owners in gardens surround themselves
With sound:
There seems a rushing in the seeping loud
Music, a barrier
To keep my slow moving solitary travelling world
Away –
I smile, but my beard, my worn clothes –
Perhaps my eyes – mark me.

A few hours
And it is good to be alone again
Among the peace of hills
Where my walking slowness seems to frame
Each slowly passing world:

Above – clouds
To herald some future rain.

In an untitled undated poem – probably dating from the 1980s – and included in his autobiography Myngath he writes:

Like memories, snow falls
With no sound
While I stand as Winter frosts
My feet
And a cold hand holds itself ready
Near a pen:

The birds, though starving, still sing
Here where trees and snow seat themselves
On hill
And the slight breeze beings to break
My piece of silence
Down.

Her love seemed only real
With its loss.

Above the trees, crows cawing
As they swirl
Within the cold

In respect of Nature, in his Apple Blossom in May, composed sometime between the late 1970s and the early 1980s, he writes:

There is a reality about Spring
When grass grows green with the sun:
Days lengthen bringing the warmth
That reassures and one is pleased
To run a hand where wind moves
And blossoms have been blown:

Every hour is unique
When rain stops.
In the town – three hills
And a valley to the left –
Music slithers from a shop
While people rush,
Gathering.
A drill strikes stone
Where youths gather
Sneering at people who pass.

There is a pleasure about Spring
When free grass grows in the sun,
A slowness when wind rushes tree:
Nearby
The curlew and lark
Where sun glints
Upon rain sodden earth:

How are you today, Mr Hughes?
Oh not so bad, you know –
Better for the sun.
Aye, will dry the ground
So we can seed.

Over the fields –
White clouds making faces
In the sun

While in his City Autumn, included in his Gentleman of The Roads, and composed in the 1970s, there is a melancholic mediation on Nature and modern life:

Dawn’s magickal moment when dim light
That strains the eye
Bursts upon a horizon still
Clutching the mist of night:
I was awake, experiencing,
Trying to hold through sleepy eyes
The silence that gave me for a moment
God;
Then the birds, thrusting their song
In the wind
Which snatched trees
Breaking the colours down
Because rain has long rejoiced to seed
This Earth.
I, on a bench

Until the traffic came:
Hard noise that crushed my spell –
Clouds, that promised tomorrow

°°°

What such poems seem to reveal is a quite different person from “the extremely violent, dark,” extremist – a “man of extreme and calculated hatred” [9] – that he has often been portrayed as, especially as the poems range in date from the 1970s to 2009 and thus encompass his decades of political activism and his time as a radical Muslim.

His autobiography Myngath, and recent essays such as his The Development Of The Numinous Way, provide some clues as to this apparent disparity between ‘the man of violence’ – the extremist – and the poet. Of his move toward becoming a Catholic monk in the 1970s he writes in Myngath that

“for a long time I had, in pursuit of some ideology – what I would later describe as a causal abstraction – controlled an aspect of my character: my almost naive sensitivity, my empathy, my rather boyish enthusiasm. But now this aspect came again to live, on a daily basis, so that I, perhaps rather foolishly, took to walking the streets of Leeds barefoot, and smiling like some village idiot; so pleased, so very pleased, to be alive; so happy with the blueness of the sky, the warmth of the Sun, the ineffable beauty of life itself.”

In his 6th July 2006 essay Existence Without End – written just over a month after the suicide of his partner in May of that year – he, then still living on an English farm, wrote that

“it is so beautifully warm, this Sun, taking away for a while the sadness of the sleepless night when dreams and memories of Fran kept me, often weeping and often silently hunched by the window, listening to the rain. No music of mine, then, as I yearned to capture, to express, the almost despairing sadness of it all. There were only words; only words such as these, and not for the first time I gently envied those gifted with the talent of musical composition. But no words can express what the sounds of numinous music can and sometimes have expressed, and I was left to sigh and close my eyes to try and dream such memories of happier days as have kept me alive as the days since her death turned first to a week and then to a month, no God to bring forth the comfort and the love so desired, so needed in the bleakness of that, of this, long night.

But this Sun brings something, while it lasts – something strange: a quite quiet remembrance of the joys and beauty of life when personal love lived to suffuse us with both happiness and dreams – no death to tear us apart. Yet how many times, how often and how stupidly, did I turn away from the sharing of such love – from its value, its humanity, its goodness known only, valued only, felt only, with its loss, with such a loss as this? Turned away from – for what? Some hard, unforgiving, inhuman ideal. Turned away from – too many times these past thirty years so that a storm now wells up inside me as the clouds of the night grew, waiting to break in a tempest of tears. So stupid, the man that I was, and maybe still am.”

Bereavement

Some years after the suicide of his fiancée in 2006, Myatt composed the two poems which are possibly his most poignant and beautiful, both of which I reproduce in full. The first is Dark Clouds Of Thunder, written in 2010,

The moment of sublime knowing
As clouds part above the Bay
And the heat of Summer dries the spots of rain
Still falling:
I am, here, now, where dark clouds of thunder
Have given way to blue
Such that the tide, turning,
Begins to break my vow of distance
Down.

A women, there, whose dog, disobeying,
Splashes sea with sand until new interest
Takes him where
This bearded man of greying hair
No longer reeks
With sadness.

Instead:
The smile of joy when Sun of Summer
Presents again this Paradise of Earth
For I am only tears, falling

The second – and his last poem – is The Sun, The City, composed in New York city in 2012:

°°°

The Sun, the city, to wear such sadness down
For I am only one among the many
Where a night-of-dreams becomes unreal
With all that is human living, dwelling,
Faster slower slowing grateful hateful hoping loving
Here:
No Time to relay the inner rush of sorrow
That breaks, broken, by some scheming need to-be
Since the 1-train, conveying, is here to grace me
In perspective.

But there are moments, to still,
When – tasks, duty – done
That inner quietness betrays
So that I sit where

The Sun of English Summer
Would could bring me down
There where the meadow grass had grown
Green greener drier keener
And farm’s field by hedge with scent
Would keep me still but sweating –
No cider to induce
Then that needed paradisal-sleep.

And now: now I only this all this,
One being cavorting where one past melds
To keep me silent, still, so that the sidewalk
Is only that sidewalk, there
Where hope, clustering, fastly moves us
On.
Good, bad, indifferent – it makes no difference:
I am no one to judge so many, any,
So that there is – becomes – only the walk faster slower slowing here
And we free in Sun to trust to sleep to-be to seep a dream
Bought at some cost, to many:

Fidelis ad Mortem

And yet there is the Sun, the city, to witness how we can should must
Break
Such sadness down.

°°°

In this latter poem, with its subtle invocation of the debt owed to the NYPD, its phrase that he is “no one to judge so many, any”, and its remembrance of the fields of an English farm while on the subway train that travels between Riverdale and Manhattan, Myatt encapsulates everything that he has learned about himself and the modern world since the death of his partner. Which is the tolerant acceptance, the personality humility, and the desire not to impersonally interfere, that form the foundation of his philosophy of pathei-mathos, a philosophy developed by him from the personal suffering and grief the death of his partner caused him.

Reading these two poems leads me to understand why Myatt felt he had to stop writing poetry and reject nearly all of his previous poems:

“Of all my profuse poetic scribblings, I can find only half a dozen or so that I can bear to re-read and which are, in my opinion, good. Some others may just be passable, but there are many – the majority, again in my opinion – which are lacking in either style or profoundity, or both, and which perhaps should be forgotten…” [10]


Conclusion

If David Myatt is to be remembered, it should ideally be for his poetry – and his translation of and commentary on the Pymander and Ιερός Λόγος tractates of the Corpus Hermeticum, and his philosophy of pathei-mathos – rather than for his political or religious writings, his past political associations, or his quest among the religions of the world. For in my view the poems in his own One Exquisite Silence collection, included in Myngath, and those few others in collections such as DW Myatt: Some Rejected Poems, are the very personal and revealing words of man who for decades veered between two types of living – the life of a poet, philosopher, mystic, and the life of a committed, sometimes violent, ideologue and activist – but who in the end seems to have been redeemed, because as he put it [11] of pathei-mathos; by having finally and irretrievably been compelled to choose the former type of living, with his poem The Sun, The City, a fitting epitaph to his strange peregrinations.


J. R. Wright
(Second, Revised, Edition 2016)

[1] Kaplan, Jeffrey (2000). Encyclopedia of White Power: A Sourcebook on the Radical Racist Right. Rowman & Littlefield, p. 216ff; p.512f

[2] Jon B. Perdue: The War of All the People: The Nexus of Latin American Radicalism and Middle Eastern Terrorism. Potomac Books, 2012. p.70-71.

[3] Raine, Susan. The Devil’s Party (Book review). Religion, Volume 44, Issue 3, July 2014, pp. 529-533.

[4] Michael, George. The New Media and the Rise of Exhortatory Terrorism. Strategic Studies Quarterly (USAF), Volume 7 Issue 1, Spring 2013.

[5] Myatt provides an overview of his life in his autobiography, Myngath: Some Recollections of a Wyrdful and Extremist Life, published in 2013. ISBN 9781484110744

[6] The Greatest Joy, The Greatest Sadness. Letter by Myatt to JRW, 2002. Included in JR Wright: Selected Letters of David Myatt, 2002-2008, e-text (pdf), 2009.

[7] One Exquisite Silence (ISBN 978-1484179932), later republished by him for some reason under the title Relict (ISBN 978-1495448386)

[8] My selection of his rejected poems includes Apple Blossom in May and Hermit Tent (from his 1980s ‘Gentleman Of The Road’ collection and both written in the 1970s), Was There Ever Such A Bliss As This (written in 2009), One Moment, Moving (written in 2010), A Warm Day One Spring (written in 1984), Travelling (written in 1975) and The Returning (written in 1984).

This selection is available as an e-text (pdf) under the title DW Myatt: Some Rejected Poems.

 

[9] Searchlight, July 2000. That issue of the long-standing anti-fascist magazine was devoted to Copeland and the London nail-bombings, with the article about Myatt appearing under the headline David Myatt: Theoretician of Terror.

In his 2012 essay Pathei-Mathos: Genesis of My Unknowing Myatt wrote

There are no excuses for my extremist past, for the suffering I caused to loved ones, to family, to friends, to those many more, those far more, ‘unknown others’ who were or who became the ‘enemies’ posited by some extremist ideology. No excuses because the extremism, the intolerance, the hatred, the violence, the inhumanity, the prejudice were mine; my responsibility, born from and expressive of my character; and because the discovery of, the learning of, the need to live, to regain, my humanity arose because of and from others and not because of me […]

I feel I now quite understand why, in the past, certain individuals disliked – even hated – me, given my decades of extremism: my advocacy of racism, fascism, holocaust denial, and National-Socialism.”

[10] Private hand-written letter by Myatt, addressed to JR Wright, dated 25.vii.08.

[11] “The discovery of, the learning of, the need to live, to regain, my humanity arose because of and from others and not because of me.” Pathei-Mathos: Genesis of My Unknowing (2012).